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Meet The Residents: America's Most Eccentric Band Paperback – July 1, 2001


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: SAF Publishing Ltd; Updated edition (July 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0946719128
  • ISBN-13: 978-0946719129
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.2 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,684,988 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Few enthusiasts will want to put this book down... -- Record Collector

About the Author

Ian Shirley?s music journalism has appeared in a wide range of magazines including Mojo, Record Collector, Classic Rock and the Wire. As well as writing the definitive biographies of Bauhaus and the Residents he is a huge comics fan. His first science fiction novel Shadowplay, was published in 1998.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Robert H. Nunnally Jr. on December 20, 1999
Format: Paperback
Shirley's Residents book combines biographical narrative with light music criticism in an appealing and highly readable telling of the Residents' story. Long before the internet showed us that conventional record companies will become superfluous to independent artists, the Residents and Ralph Records were demonstrating that a sense of humor, a sardonic marketing sensibility, and a willingness to title records "Duck Stab" could provide the artist outside the grooves with an audience and a place in the music industry. Shirley "plays along" a bit with the band's "mystery persona" (not to worry, enough hints are dropped), but this book is not a mere puff piece on the Residents. Shirley has a good grip on what works in the Residents' music, and a reasonably fair criticism of what does not work for him. The real story is how the Residents got exposure,and became counterculture icons in their own right, while consistently parodying the counterculture they eventually came to symbolize. If you are a Residents fan, you will like this book, but this book is also a good read for the person with little Residents exposure--it's a good example of how "performance art" was a finely refined art long before MFA dropouts subjected us to one-person confessional plays about dysfunctional suburban families. If you dread the usual "gee, I love U2" fan bio, but like stories about how DIY artists actually did do it themselves (rather than merely bewail society's failure to recognize them), you'll like this one.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Solo Goodspeed on September 22, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is not only a great book about the history, trials, tribulations and triumphs of America's most famous unknown quartet (?), but a fascinating look at how a group of independent thinkers and performers found a way to market themselves in a manner as unique as their output. Even if you can't stand the music of The Residents, one can't help but be inspired by the perseverence and ideology that founded and maintained their business dealings, ensuring the survival of their (very) particular artistic vision.
Author Ian Shirley gives us a Brit's eye view of the "Eyeball Buddies" that is very readable, fast paced, never ponderous .... in fact, at times you can't help but wonder if something was left out, the way events unfold, almost more like an extended article than a book. What distinguishes this from most written artist profiles is the equal emphasis put on how this reclusive combo, who has maintained anonymity for close to 30 years, packaged, marketed and kept themselves afloat in an industry that is constantly on the brink of plunging headfirst into cultural mediocrity.
One element notably absent here is tales of inner group conflict; being an anonymous entity, that sort of revealing of individual personalities would be inappropriate. By putting the art first, these guys (?) proved that a unified creative vision CAN in fact exist without an emphasis put on personalities. Again, whether or not the strange music is to one's taste, their story presents an ideal in team creativity that has outlasted even that of (dare I say it) The Beatles.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Nuria Teuler Pujol on June 8, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It's a very good book for to knowing The Residents and enjoy all the secrets behind the music. You will not know who they are, but you can enjoy with a lot of funny and amusing stories about this wonderful band. Very easy to read for the non english speakers like me, I didn't have much trouble for understand the text. It would be fantastic a second part, because the book finishes in the Wormwood cd. Absolutely good!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book contains about as much info as is available,I suppose.
It's about 10 years old,so their latest work is not covered,obviously.
I think the author did as good a job as he could given the fact that he had very little to work with.
If you can find a copy that is not over-priced,it's worth a look.
The book is rather hard to come by and my copy was sort of expensive,relative to it's content.
If you're a Rez addict,then I guess it's worth it.
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4 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 20, 1998
Format: Paperback
The second best book ever, next to The Simpsons a complete gide to our favorite family. If you have ever wanted to know about the Simpsons then it's definitely the book for you. In conclusion, Ian Shirley's Meet the Residents still doesn't tell who The Residents are, and that's fine with me!
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